Question about dining


#1

If I book a trip and then say less than 30 days later they come out with free dining…am I able to get a refund? Or would I have to cancel the whole thing? Also, if I book while there is a free dining promo, can I upgrade to the cost of the deluxe dining for the difference in price?


#2

Yes, they cancel the first booking and rebook with the current deal.

Yes, I believe that you can upgrade and pay the difference.

Ok, now we’re waiting for one of those people that know everything and see if they agree.


#3

[QUOTE=Dopey;1026432]Yes, they cancel the first booking and rebook with the current deal.

Yes, I believe that you can upgrade and pay the difference.

[/QUOTE]

… I agree… I have done both of these…


#4

If its under 30 days, you may have to pay a change fee, but the savings from free DDP should more than cover that minimum cost. As for upgrading, again you may have to pay a change fee.


#5

Dana’s right, there is a fee for changing. But if it’s a package, it’s under 45 days that a fee will be charged.


#6

What I did last year in anticipation of free dinning, was I booked my vacation with room and tickets and no dinning. When free dinning was offered they were then able to just add it to my already booked package. If it hadn’t of come out then I could have just added dinning and they would have ajusted the cost. Also when I called to add the free dining they asked if I would like to upgrade to deluxe dinning.


#7

[QUOTE=Dopey;1026432]Yes, they cancel the first booking and rebook with the current deal.

Yes, I believe that you can upgrade and pay the difference.

Ok, now we’re waiting for one of those people that know everything and see if they agree.[/QUOTE]I’m here, sorry I’m late … :laugh: :wink:

There’s nothing significant about whether a promo comes out within 30 days of when you booked a trip or later. It would make no difference if it was 1 day after you booked it or 6 months after you booked it.

Where the “magic number” is depends on what type of reservation you already have. If you already have a package booked, then the magic number is 45 days before arrival, as mentioned earlier. But if you already have a room-only reservation booked, then the magic number is 6 days before arrival.

If you already have a package booked, and you later want to take advantage of a free Disney Dining Plan offer, then your original reservation would NOT be cancelled and a new reservation would NOT be made. The package would just be modified. You’d keep the same 8-digit reservation number, even if you end up changing resorts in the process!

If you already have a room-only booked, then yes, that would be cancelled and a brand new reservation would be made in its place. Actually, it would be done in reverse: the new package reservation would be made, and then only after that’s confirmed would the old room-only be cancelled.

If you book any type of free DDP promo, you are permitted to upgrade to a higher level of DDP, and you just pay the difference between what you’re getting for free and the price of the upgraded version.

As mentioned earlier, there may be a fee involved with any change. If you make the change after you’ve already made the final payment on your package, and if the change results in a decrease in the price of the package or no change to the price of the package, then you’ll be assessed a change fee. But if the change to the package results in an increase in price, then you won’t be assessed a change fee.

Also, as mentioned earlier, if there is any change made AFTER the 45-day mark for a package that results in an increase in price, that entire increase must be paid immediately.


#8

[QUOTE=MomBee;1026634]What I did last year in anticipation of free dinning, was I booked my vacation with room and tickets and no dinning. When free dinning was offered they were then able to just add it to my already booked package. If it hadn’t of come out then I could have just added dinning and they would have ajusted the cost. Also when I called to add the free dining they asked if I would like to upgrade to deluxe dinning.[/QUOTE]For future reference, it may be handy to know the following:

Having a pre-existing reservation does NOTHING to help you book free dining.

If you have a reservation, and I have no reservation whatsoever, we are on totally equal footing when it comes to booking free dining. In other words, it doesn’t help to “squat” on a room in hopes of free dining. In fact, surprisingly, it can HURT your overall chances of getting free dining while staying at that resort. Please let me explain …

The offer of free Disney Dining Plan is a result of Disney deciding that they haven’t sold enough rooms and they want to sell more. So they offer something for free (the DDP) in the hopes that room sales will increase.

But when they offer a promo like free DDP, it isn’t an across-the-board “every room’s on sale” situation. The Disney suits decide on a super secret occupancy rate. Let’s just pretend it’s 90% (I have no blessed idea what the actual percentage is, and I have no idea if it varies by resort or room-type).

So here’s the deal. Let’s just pretend, for ease, that they offer the free DDP during the entire month of September. They look at each room category within each resort for each day in September … well, the computer looks at it for them. For any given day, if a specific room category in a specific resort already has more than 90% occupancy, then that room-type at that resort on that date or dates is not available with the free DDP promo.

And that makes sense, right? They’re offering the DDP to boost sales. But if a certain type of room is already selling great, then they have no need to give stuff away to sell more of that type of room, right?

So let’s say you already have a reservation for Sept. 1-7, and you hear they announced free DDP for September. You call 407-W-DISNEY. They don’t tell you, “OK, because you called, you can have free dining.” What they do is query the computer database to see if there are any rooms available for your existing room category in your resort for those dates … it’s as if they are looking up for a whole new reservation. If the occupancy rate for those dates/room-type/resort is already at 90% or higher, then you won’t be able to book the free DDP.

THAT is why having a pre-existing reservation does nothing to give you an edge in booking the free DDP.

And that is why if everyone “squatted” on rooms in hopes of snagging the free DDP, Disney would never offer the free DDP anymore because they’d be sitting back very satisfied with themselves saying, “Wow, we’re already sold out for September. That means there’s no need to offer the free DDP to sell more rooms … there are no more rooms to sell!”

Quick example. Let’s say you and I want to travel on exactly the same dates, at exactly the same resort in exactly the same room category. You made a reservation a few months ago, I don’t have a reservation. And then a free DDP promo is announced! Let’s pretend that as of 2:00 p.m. the occupancy rate for our dates/room-type/resort is teetering at 89.9% … one more room gets booked and the occupancy rate will be over the limit for the free DDP to be offered. I call at 2:00 p.m. and make a brand new reservation that includes the free DDP. YOU call at 2:10 p.m. and are told, “Sorry, the free DDP isn’t available for your reservation.”

A good cast member, however, will dig around for you and find out that you could get the free DDP if you switch room types or switch resorts or something like that.

There’s more good news. Let’s say that, in the above example, my reservation caused the occupancy rate to go to 90.5% You called later and were told you can’t get the free DDP at that resort, but you can get it at a different resort, one you’ll accept but you don’t really love. Then let’s say a few weeks later I cancel my reservation, and there were no other new reservatoins made since I booked. The occupancy rate has now dipped below 90%, and therefore the free DDP is again available for your original room-type/dates/resort. THAT is why if you don’t get the free DDP, you should call back every day, even a few times a day, in hopes of switching back to your preferred resort/room-type.

Confused yet? Please, post again and let’s talk. :phone:


#9

Wow Cleve…I actually understood all of that!

Thanks

Lisa


#10

[QUOTE=CleveRocks;1026898]For future reference, it may be handy to know the following:

Having a pre-existing reservation does NOTHING to help you book free dining.

If you have a reservation, and I have no reservation whatsoever, we are on totally equal footing when it comes to booking free dining. In other words, it doesn’t help to “squat” on a room in hopes of free dining. In fact, surprisingly, it can HURT your overall chances of getting free dining while staying at that resort. Please let me explain …

The offer of free Disney Dining Plan is a result of Disney deciding that they haven’t sold enough rooms and they want to sell more. So they offer something for free (the DDP) in the hopes that room sales will increase.

I understand what you are saying, but it was the CM who answered the phone that suggested I do it the way I did, he said that it was easier to add the free dinning code to my pre-booked room then cancelling the reservation and then adding free dinning. I also had just got my first credit card and only had a small limit so I had to book package early and and pay a bit at a time. Worked out better for me then our friends who waited to book everything though, when they called to book whole package, all the free dinning rooms at their resort were full.


#11

You have the option of adding any dining plan to a room only reservation right up to 72 hours before your arrival. I have done this many times.
This allows you to put down a one night deposit on your room and pushes back your date for payment in full from 45 days out to the mentioned 72 hours (3 days).
What will happen is you will be given an entirely new reservation and your previous deposit will be refunded back to your credit card in about 2-3 business days. So, plan your available credit accordingly.

(This is not meant to say anything previously posted was wrong. This is just my own strategy.)

In the meantime, go ahead and make all of your dining reservations, regardless of dining plan or OOP. Those all stay the same, regardless.


#12

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1027123]You have the option of adding any dining plan to a room only reservation right up to 72 hours before your arrival. I have done this many times.
This allows you to put down a one night deposit on your room and pushes back your date for payment in full from 45 days out to the mentioned 72 hours (3 days).
What will happen is you will be given an entirely new reservation and your previous deposit will be refundd back to your credit card in about 2-3 business days. So, plan your available credit accordingly.

(This is not meant to say anything previously posted was wrong. This is just my own strategy.)

In the meantime, go ahead and make all of your dining reservations, regardless of dining plan or OOP. Those all stay the same, regardless.[/QUOTE]

soundgod,
That sounds like a neat strategy … an effective way of delaying paying for the package.

However, I want to make sure that everyone realizes you’re talking about PURCHASING the Disney Dining Plan and that your strategy would not work with a promotion for FREE Disney Dining Plan.